Concreting and Concrete

Concreting and Concrete

The Romans didn’t invent the concrete, they just made it better, so that they could build better, stronger, bigger and taller buildings. Reinforced concrete was first developed around the First World War for technical reasons.During the World War 2, reinforced concrete will be extensively used in military constructions of buildings. After the war, concrete is the material of choice for most architects with some terrible aesthetic results.

There are some simple rules for concreting and mixing concrete. Unless you want to build a Dam or a very tall building. Most professionals takes concrete samples, send them to a laboratory and test the samples for every concrete poured on a building site. If the concrete mix is not strong enough or doesn’t pass the test, the concrete is taken out, at a major cost for the builders.
concrete dam

For paths, drives, foundations, and floors for outbuildings, concrete is the material; mixing and laying it demands only limited skill. Some simple rules for simple concrete mixing.
concrete foundation

Lafarge cement, an European cement maker in UK (this is not advertising for Lafarge, there could be better cement brands out there) is suitable for almost anything you are likely to do around the house. It comes in heavy paper sacks which really are heavy and not easy to handle. Some spare pair of hands to help will be very much appreciated, but don’t fall for this trick;

Mixing the cement – concrete

Cement is mixed with aggregates,sharp sand and stones; for paths and drives the easiest material is all-in-ballast, a combination of stones and sand.Ideally aggregates should be stored on boards or a sheet of metal; if they are dumped on to bare earth you won’t be able to use the bottom earth-contaminated layer. You can buy ballast by the yard, J, yard, or yard (which means cubic yards) or by eight-yard truckloads. Cement and sand, or cement and aggregate, can also be bought by the bag, ready mixed,dry; you just add water. It is expensive this way, but convenient for small jobs. The final material for mixing concrete is water. Concrete hardens by the incorporation of water into the chemical structure, so it must be clean water. For paths and drives, the best mix is one part of cement by volume (use a box or a bucket) to five or six of all-in ballast.
Robuild London Builders are using ready mixed C25 concrete for foundations, delivered by a lorry concrete and on site mixing is done only when there is small amount of concrete needed.
concrete lorry pump

North London Builders in Finchley

Builders in Finchley, North London

North London Builders, specialists in property renovations, additions and alterations. Our Finchley & North London services include maintenance, refurbishments, building services, remodeling and renovations for dwellings, commercial and domestic properties in North London and the surrounding areas.

Refurbishments, Renovations, Building works,Loft conversions, House & Kitchen Extensions, External and internal decoration,Bathroom installations, Kitchen installations, Plumbing and Heating, Electrical, Carpentry, Flooring
Tiling, Painting, wall papering or plastering, Guttering & Roofing,Roof tiling, Garage Conversions, Gardening & Landscape.

north london builders

Removing walls London Builders

Removing walls

Open plan layout is very popular in London homes and flats. Solid though they look, walls don’t have to be forever; you can knock two small rooms into one big one. It is hard work, messy, noisy, though not for amateur builders.

But before reaching for the demolition hammer, the homeowner or the builders, must check if the walls are load bearing walls. Which walls are safe to knock down without Building Regulation and without major complications ? Not the outer walls which carry most of the load of roof and upper floors; they’re a job for expert builders.
which walls load bearing walls

Not the party wall between semis or terrace houses they mustn’t be touched at all. Internal partition walls which hold up nothing but merely divide the internal space can be demolished with no more additional work than making good the plaster, painting and decorating and sometimes plumbing and electrical work if a switch, socket or radiator needs to be relocated. But there are some internal walls which carry part of the weight of roof or upper floors.

These can be knocked down but only after you have, in effect, built a bridge to carry the load. You can get an idea of
which is which by looking in the loft. If roof timbers rest on a wall then that’s load-bearing. Walls under or near water-tanks are probably load-bearing. And where joists are divided and join just above a wall, that’s load-bearing
too.

A Structural Engineer is needed, Metal Beams,RSJs, lintels, Pad Stones and Building Regulation approval before the load bearing walls are demolished.
removing load bearing walls

Any major building job like knocking down a wall – any wall-must be approved first by the Building Inspector (in inner London) or the Building Control Officer. Speak to your local council enclosing drawings of what you propose
to do. These need not be perfect, architect-style, but must be clear and give measurements. The Building Control then will ask for Structural Calculations in writing if they are happy with the purposed demolition works.

Removing the external load bearing wall for a kitchen extension
Removing the external load bearing wall for a kitchen extension

Mill Hill Builders Mill Hill NW7

Mill Hill and Mill Hill Broadway is an area covered by the London Builders Robuild, including North West London.

We also have Plumbers, Electricians,Carpenters, Roofers in our team.

mill hill builders

House Extensions, Basements, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Renovation, Landscaping, Refurbishment, Loft Conversions, New Builds, Architects, Garage Conversions, Design & Build, Structural Works, Gardening,Restoration Works, Central Heating, Boilers, Electrical Works, Wiring, Rewiring, Plastering, Tiling, Carpentry, Roofing, Conservatories and other Building Projects.

Builders in Mill Hill, London

Brick Walls Pointing and Repointing

Pointing and Repointing a brick wall helps keeping the rain water and moisture from penetrating the brickwall, thus keeping the wall dry. Older brickworks will need repointing from time to time.

WALLS: Keeping the rain out
If the mortar joint between bricks has begun to crumble it should be repaired, not only for the sake of appearance,but to keep rain out of the wall. Rain alone is bad for a house, but the real danger is rain followed by
frost, for if water has soaked into bricks and then freezes, the surface of the brick can crack away, leaving a much
more battered-looking wall and a much bigger repair bill.
It’s cheaper and simpler to mend the mortar joint – called ‘ repointing’ by builders.

London Builders & Bricklayers offers you a guide to Pointing and Repointing brick walls.

Flush pointing: the mortar finishes level with the bricks, the edge is made roughly level with the trowel and then, when mortar has begun to dry, rubbed over with a piece of wood. Work carefully; don’t rub excess wet mortar into bricks, it will stain the bricks.
flush pointing brick wall house extension

Weather struck and cut pointing : gives best water defying finish; the slope helps water to run off. Formed by trowel held at an angle; then ‘frenchman knife’ is run along lower edge, on straightedge,to leave slight overhang.
weather struck pointing brick walls house extension

Tooled or rubbed pointing : mortar is pressed in and slightly hollowed by any suitably rounded tool – a piece of narrow pipe, an old bucket handle, or a piece of garden hose, rubbed along the mortar, giving curved finish to joint.

Recessed square pointing: mortar is rubbed with a steel tool – a piece of hardwood can be as good – of the right thickness. This pointing looks very handsome with rough-textured bricks, but isn’t ideal for walls going to get lots of rain.

Repointing the mortar joints between bricks

Unless you’ve only a small area of repointing to do, and that near the ground, hire a tower platform to, work from. Repointing isn’t difficult, but it will need all your attention and both hands,
and that isn’t possible if you are working from a ladder.
tower platform office

It’s worth practising on a small piece of wall where your first, probably messy, attempts won’t show. If you are repointing an entire wall you can pick any style of repointing; if you are doing only part of a wall it will look better matched to the existing sound parts.

Work from top to bottom of the wall, raking out the old pointing, and take the opportunity to clean down dirty brickwork at the same time.
There are brick cleaners you buy from a builder’s merchant. If there’s an odd defective brick you can cut it out with a cold chisel and club hammer and replace it with a matching sound brick.
(If there’s more than one or two together, best leave the job to a builder.) Apart from the tower platform, you’ll need a pointing trowel (like a bricklaying trowel but half the size) and you may find a dotting trowel (a very small one) useful too. Make yourself a ‘frenchman’- file the end of an old knife to a point, then heat the blade in a flame and bend it at right angles.
A straight-edge can be made from a piece of 2in. by 1 in. with one edge planed to a featheredge and a thin piece of ply or hardboard fixed at each end to hold it just clear of the wall.

A hawk, to carry a small amount of mortar while you are working, can be made out of a 9in. square piece of hardboard or ply screwed to a 6in. length of broom handle. Professionals mix their mortar on a spotboard, a 2ft. square board
raised clear of the ground.

The easiest way to get mortar is to buy dry ready mix: it is cheaper to mix your own (one part cement, two sand) and by
using coloured cements you can produce coloured pointing, but all the ingredients need to be passed through a fine
sieve to make sure there are no coarse particles. Whichever material you use, add clean water slowly until you have a
stiff mortar mix. If you make the mix too wet it won’t stay put between the bricks and in running down it will stain them. It should be just wet enough to be worked; if you/pick it up on a trowel and tip it sideways the mortar should stay put.

Contact us for a Quote for Pointing and Repointing walls, Chimney Pointing, brick pointing repairs,Lime Repointing, Masonry, etc in London. If the job is not too small, our bricklayers and builders can cover other UK areas.

If you build a House Extensions, Kitchen Extensions, Loft Conversions, Garage Conversions, or any other building that will complement an existing house or building, its always best to match existing type of pointing and brickwork.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui0E4VI0oIM

Builder in Kensington and Chelsea Builders

Builders in Kensington and Chelsea, London

Robuild London Building Company covers Kensington and Chelsea and most of Central London and West London.

builders plumbers london

We offer all types of Building work Services, House Refurbishments & Flats Refurbishments, Loft Conversions, House Extensions, Bathrooms Renovations, Kitchens Renovations, Garage Conversions,Landscaping, Gardening, Driveways, etc.

Our Plumbers, Electricians, Painters & Decorators, Roofers and Carpenters, also cover the Kensington and Chelsea area. New plumbing installations, boilers, Central Heating,Underfloor Heating, Rewiring & Wiring, Electrical work, Roofing, Carpentry, Painting & Decorating.

Waterproofing walls, the damp proof course DPC

Waterproofing walls, the damp proof course DPC

WALLS, Dealing with damp

Rising damp is a problem with many older houses and buildings in London; the damp-proof course wasn’t adopted until late in the 19th century, and cavity walls were a 20th-century device.

The problem has become worse as big open fires are abandoned – these kept up sufficient draught to evaporate moisture from inside rooms and sweep it up the chimney. Without them, damp may cause damage.
There are some ways of keeping it out or at least keeping damp-stains off the plaster and wallpaper.
damp wall

Bricks suck up water like blotting paper; make them waterproof and damp will stay down at ground level. Builders’ merchants sell waterproofing solutions that, painted on liberally inside the damp wall and out, will, with luck, soak through, join up in the middle and form a waterproof barrier. Painted on the outside these solutions certainly help keep out driving rain, and once dry they are invisible. A more expensive but thorough treatment is to drip silicone waterproofing solution into the wall through tubes drilled into the bricks.
You can buy the solution and hire equipment, but it’s best for a specialist firm to do it.

Sometimes used with the dampproof solution method: porous clay pipes set into the wall where a damp-proof course
would be if you had one. They slope down slightly from inside to outside (where small grilles keep out the rain and inquisitive mice) and are set in a porous mortar. The idea is that moisture seeps into the pipes through the porous walls, then trickles harmlessly down the slope to the outside of-the wall.
No job for the amateur; your builder may be able to do it, or will more likely refer you to a
specialist firm. The job should last for at least 20 years. A good firm will offer you a 20-year guarantee on their work.

Electro-osmosis goes back to first principles to cure damp: what makes damp climb up a wall ? The answer is that there’s a minute difference between the electrical charge of the wall and that of the earth beneath it; take away the difference in charge and there’s nothing left to power the climb of the water.
Electro-osmotic damp treatment consists of driving small copper rods into the wall roughly where a damp-proof course would be, joining them with a copper strip, and joining the strip to an earth rod, a metal spike sunk well into the ground. Amateurs have done it, but it’s worth getting a professional job and a guarantee,usually 20 years.

Cutting right through the wall to insert a new damp-proof course sounds drastic, and isn’t a job for the ordinary householder to tackle. A special saw is used to cut through the mortar or bricks, a short length at a time, a damp course inserted and the mortar restored, before moving on to cut the next section. The completed work is usually guaranteed for 20 years or more. All these systems are fundamental cures: they stop damp getting into the wall. None are cheap. If it isn’t possible to use them, for financial or technical reasons, you will have to leave the wall damp and concentrate on protecting the inside of the rooms. In the picture below, modern DPC for cavity walls.

dpc kitchen extension walls

Contact us for a quote for your damp proofing problems.

West London Builders West London

West London Builders West London

London Builders cover West London area. New build residential projects, house refurbishments, flats refurbishments, loft conversions, garage conversions,new garages, sheds, offices and other building works.
builders team west london

Many properties can be extended or converted into extra spaces, we can take care of Planning Permission and Building Regulations for the Building Works if needed. Our Architect in West London will design the drawings. The Garage can be converted into an extra bedroom or living room, the Loft Space can be transformed into a Large bedroom with en suite bathroom. If you need a builder in West London, Contact us. We cover : Acton, Kensington and Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Holland Park, Ealing and most of West London and Central London area.

west london builders van

We offer property refurbishment services, loft conversions, basement conversions, garage conversions, house extensions, kitchens and bathrooms, Listed Building and Conservation areas,landscaping, plumbing and central heating, electrical wiring and rewiring. Our Plumbers are Gas Safe Registered and the Electricians are fully qualified 17th Editions – NICEIC

Contact us for a free Quote or Estimate.
office builders

Plumbers in West London, Electricians in West London, Roofers & Carpenters in West London, Kitchen & Bathroom Fitters, Installers in West London, Painters & Decorators in West London, House Extension Builders in West London, Loft Conversion Builders in West London, Garage Conversion Builders in West London, Builders in Kensington and Chelsea, Builders in Knightsbridge, Builders in Notting Hill, Builders in Holland Park, Builders in Acton ,Builders in Ealing.

Isleworth, Acton, Eastcote, Bayswater, Charlton, Brook Green, Chiswick, Ealing, Uxbridge, Greenford, Hanger Lane, Hanwell, Hammersmith, Holland Park, Kensington, Elsham, Notting Hill, East Molesley, Ladbroke Grove, Marylebone, Mayfair, North Kensington, Warwick Avenue, Osterley, Paddington, Perivale, Shepherd’s Bush, Strand,Addlestone, West Brompton, Kensal Green, Queens Park, West Ealing, Building Company, Building Contractors In London.

Brick Walls and Brickwork for buildings

Brickwork or walls made of bricks for buildings, new house extensions

Beside some rare occurrence of Efflorescence in newly built brick walls, brickwork doesn’t generally require attention beyond dusting down with a brush. If it has been splashed or looks dingy it can be cleaned with a weak solution of spirits of salt or you can buy a brick cleaner from a DIY shop or builder’s merchants. Brush it on, rise and brush down with a wire brush.
brick wall house extension
Take care; though the acid is weak, it can still burn, so wear goggles and rubber gloves.Brickwork can be painted or rendered if necessary, but London Builders Robuild would rather advise to keep the brickwork, nice and clean. Pointing and re-pointing the brick walls can be redone when needed, and your brick wall looks like a traditional London building.
brick walls side house extension

Rendering and painting a brick wall is sometimes done to cover cracks in the structure of the house.

glass brick in brick wall

Most architects in London and bricklayers will recommend brick walls rather than block walls. Even though blockwork is cheaper than brickwork, having brick walls for your house extension or new build buildings, keeps and preserve the character of London, this is the reason why even Planning Permissions are sometimes subject to matching existing brickwork walls on your street or existing property.

house brick walls

Chelmsford, Builders in Chelmsford

Chelmsford, Builders in Chelmsford

Kitchens, Bathrooms, Decoration, Carpentry, Flooring, Plumbing, Electrical, Roofing, Driveways,Patios, General Building

They are able to cover all aspects of building services from extensions, total refurbishments and external re-decoration of apartment blocks to the simple loft conversion. Being highly skilled and professional team ,they take pride in knowing that we will complete the job with the up most of professionalism.The Chelmsford Builders work with local architects and various local authorities carrying out numerous projects ensuring they are carried out and completed to the highest possible standards.

http://www.v8vbuilding.co.uk